The Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, had issued summons for the All Progressives Congress’ candidate in the forthcoming Lagos East Senatorial bye-election, Tokunbo Abiru, in a case instituted by his political opponent, Babatunde Gbadamosi of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Freelanews can exclusively report.
According to the charge sheet with suit no. FHC/L/CS/136/2020 and seen by Freelanews, the PDP’s candidate is seeking the disqualification of Abiru in the bye election set to hold on October 31, 2020.
Abiru is expected to appear within thirty days of the issue to answer 9 counts that include his eligibility and criminal allegation of double registration in the same unit with two different Voter Identification Number (VIN).
The APC’s candidate is jointly charged with his party, APC, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Abiru, stated as the second defendant in the summon, allegedly has VINs 90F5B 05 EEB 29560 3194 and 90F5A FEA90 41821 3518, which showed that he registered twice in the same registration centre of Lekki/Ikwate and environ in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State. This is contrary to the provisions of Section 12 (2) and (3), Section 31 (5) and (6), Section 117 (1)(c) and Section 118 (1)(k) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).
In addition to this, contrary to the provision of Sections 71 and 72 of the Nigerian constitution 1999 (as amended), Abiru is allegedly not from Lagos East Senatorial District as his voter’s registration revealed a centre under Eti Osa Local Government and hence, not qualified to represent the district.
The revelation may be a huge setback for the ruling party and the banker cum politician should the latter be found guilty of all these allegations.
Recall that APC delegates recently in Ikorodu nominated Abiru as a candidate to fill the vacuum left behind by the late Sen. Adebayo Osinowo.
Sen. Osinowo, until his death, represented the people of the district in the Red Chamber of the National Assembly also under APC.
No fewer than 1,200 delegates were accredited in both ward A4 and ward C4.
However, Abiru of Ward A4 ran unopposed in the primaries as the only candidate cleared by the National Working Committee of the APC.
With this new development, Abiru may not be battling his supposed PDP’s opponent at the polls, but his eligibility to stand for election as facts against him and made available to Freelanews seek to nullify his nomination, submission and acceptance as the candidate of APC in the bye-election.